Boxing: Pacquiao has grand design for Mayweather
Freddie Roach said Thursday he has devised an elaborate strategy that will deliver a decisive victory for Filipino icon Manny Pacquaio in his ‘Fight of the Century’ against Floyd Mayweather.
The revered trainer said he expects a bulked up Mayweather to seek an early rounds knockout but warned Pacquiao would be ready to go the distance if necessary
“I have the winning formula for Manny,” Roach said at the MGM Grand Hotel, with Saturday’s bout just over 48 hours away.
“He (Mayweather) put on a lot of muscle for this fight. I think he will come out in early rounds and try to knock us out.
“He could also run all night. I have fallen asleep at a couple of his fights before. So I am ready for whatever he brings to the ring.”
Pacquiao set up his training camp for the richest fight in boxing history in a private facility built underneath Roach’s Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles.
They gutted the old laundromat that was there and replaced it with a de facto war room where Roach and Pacquiao have been crafting the plan they believe will end Mayweather’s unbeaten record.
Roach said the new gym allowed Pacquiao to escape the clamour and chaos of the Wild Card that comes with having the Filipino superstar training there.
“I blocked the gym off and we kept it private. This camp I didn’t have Manny trying to perform for an audience, he was performing for himself,” Roach said.
– Happy campers –
“We had a good training camp. A lot of good sparring partners. We had eight sparring partners and we switched them up.
“Manny is too nice to his sparring partners all the time. Once he got too friendly with them we got a new one. That is why we used so many sparring partners.”
Roach said earlier he thought Mayweather’s unusually quiet demeanour in the build up to the fight was a sign he lacked motivation.
Pacquiao meanwhile went for a “light” run Thursday morning followed by another low-key workout in the afternoon.
“We are not focused on one strategy but two or three strategies,” Pacquiao said earlier in the week. “Any way he wants to fight me is good. If he wants to run we will cut the ring off.”
Roach said they are going to use Mayweather’s fights against Zab Judah and Oscar De La Hoya as a blueprint for what they want to achieve in the ring. Mayweather beat Judah by a unanimous decision in 2006 and De La Hoya by a split decision a year later.
Roach said if De La Hoya had continued to use his jab effectively in the later rounds he could have beaten Mayweather.
“Oscar beat him in the first six rounds and lost to him in the last six. Oscar started following him around. We will improve on that. Zab just started tiring.”
– ‘Nothing but fear’ –
Roach said they are waiting to see if the gloves that Mayweather will use meets the standards. They have asked the boxing officials to press the issue because it is past the deadline for both camps to turn in their gloves in for inspection.
“We turned ours in. They are long past their due,” he said. “Their gloves are hand made and our gloves are made by a computer system. I just want to make sure the weight on the gloves is fair.”
Mayweather’s trainer, Mayweather Sr., said Thursday the gloves issue reflected fear in the Pacquiao camp.
“The gloves are not an issue. They ain’t got nothing but fear,” Mayweather Sr. said.
Asked about former heavyweight champ Mike Tyson’s comment that Mayweather was “a very small, scared man”, Roach said he agrees.
“Mike knows a lot about boxing,” said Roach, who believes Mayweather’s 38-year-old legs may not be as elusive as they once were.
“I don’t think his legs are there anymore. He can’t move like he used to. We will catch him,” Roach said.